What bulbs do I need for my lighting fixture?

No matter how trivial and easy this question sounds, there are a lot of people asking it, when they have to change a burned out bulb. Believe it or not,  sometimes such a small thing can make your life a living hell.
Let’s imagine that  you have a nice contemporary pendant in the kitchen, but when you press the light switch nothing happens or worse, you get some flickering followed by darkness in the room that you have just entered. (there is also some rare cases when instead of flickering the incandescent bulb just makes a small explosion, breaking the glass enclosure and leaving you a little scared). But don’t worry, no place for panic here. It is normal and there is no chance of any harm to you.

What should you do next?

Well, before making any attempts to replace the bulb or dismantle the lighting fixture, you have to cut the electricity, but not from the light switch. You cannot be sure if the switch is in ON or OFF position, and even if you are sure about that, there is a chance of live wire not passing through the switch, but connected directly to the lighting. So, you have to find the circuit breaker or fusebox in your home and stop the electricity. If you don’t know how to do that, you’d better call someone familiar with the basics of electricity.

energy-saving lamps


Now that you have cut the electricity, you can examine the lighting fixture. If the bulb is inside some lampshade or protection glass, you should remove it carefully. In most cases the bulb will be with Edison screw and should be easily pulled up by rotating it counterclockwise. Such type of bulbs are incandescent and compact energy-saving lamps. You can check the lampholder for indication of the correct size of screw – E14,E26,E27,E40 etc.

Another type of bulb that you can encounter is the halogen. These bulbs are emiting much more brighter and pleasant light. They come in variety of sockets. You can have a linear halogen bulb, with R7s socket, or small halogen with G4,G9 socket or spot like halogen with GU10,GZ10 base. Linear R7s bulb is released by pushing at either side, G4 and G9 – just pull the bulb, GU10 and GZ10 – rotate ½ counterclockwise and pull.
All lighting fixtures have stickers with required bulbs, type, socket and maximum allowed power. You should check your lamp for this information.

Now that you have removed the old bulb, you can take it with you and show it to the local electrician to replace it with a brand new of the same type and power or you can write down the info from the bulb socket and show it in your local lighting shop.

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